Giving Zakat to afflicted Palestinians permissible; giver receives double rewards: Al-Azhar

Ahram Online , Sunday 22 Oct 2023

The Fatwa Centre of Al-Azhar, the world’s leading Sunni Islamic institution, issued a statement on Sunday that it is permissible for Muslims to give Zakat (charitable alms) to assist Palestinians suffering the effects of Israeli attacks.

Palestinian medic holds a child wounded in Israeli air strike on the Gaza Strip, in Deir el-Balah, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023. AP


The Fatwa Centre also indicated that the givers, in this case, receive two rewards: the reward for their Zakat and the reward for aiding their needy brethren, supporting their resilience and just cause.

Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam and requires financially capable Muslims to give 2.5 percent of their annual income to the poor and needy. 

Moreover, the centre stated that answering the Palestinians' calls for humanitarian aid is a duty given the catastrophic conditions they are experiencing.

"It is one of the most important duties of a Muslim towards their brothers and a means to support them in their resilience against this aggressive and oppressive occupation," reads the centre's statement.

Egypt’s Decent Life Initiative has announced bank accounts to which Egyptians can donate in order to aid and support the Palestinian people amid the ongoing crisis.

Egypt’s Food Bank, the Egyptian Red Crescent and the Mersal Foundation also accept donations for Palestinians in Gaza. 

Earlier this month, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed El-Tayyeb launched a “Save Gaza” campaign calling for people to support Gazans through donations to the Egyptian Zakat and Charity House that he supervises.

In a previous statement, Al-Azhar stated that standing in solidarity with Palestinians through official channels is a religious, legal, moral, and humanitarian obligation.

Since 7 October, more than 4,300 Palestinians, including over 1,750 children, have already been killed by Israeli strikes launched against the Gaza Strip, where 2.3 million Palestinians have been under a complete Israeli blockade - food, water, and fuel.

The Islamic Research Academy (AIRA) at Al-Azhar condemned attempts at forced displacement, ethnic cleansing, and genocide carried out by the "terrorist Zionist entity against Palestinians".

In another statement, Al-Azhar told the Palestinians that they should be confident that the West, despite all its military power and destructive machinery, is weak and apprehensive when confronting them because it is fighting on land that is not its own and defends outdated ideologies and doctrines.

“The Islamic nation should harness the power, wealth, resources, and assets that Almighty God has bestowed upon it to stand firmly behind Palestine and its oppressed people, who are facing an enemy that has lost its conscience, empathy, and feeling, turning its back on humanity, ethics, and the teachings of the prophets and messengers,” Al-Azhar concluded.

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